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INDM 4260: Organization Dynamics

A guide to help with the research paper assigned in INDM 4260

General Elements of a Research Paper

  • Title Page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Review of the Literature
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Discussion & Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendix

Elements of a research paper adapted from the American Psychological Association Manual.


The DISCOVER process is a system you can follow anytime you are required to write on a topic.

D - define your topic or thesis statement

 I -  inquire (find some background information on your topic)

S - search for additional information on your topic

C - collect information (articles) on your topic

O - organize the information in a logical format (decide how to present your information)

V - verify the information (is the author an authority on the issue? is the website credible?)

E - express the information (write the paper)

R - reflect and revise (writing is a circular process; write a draft, then read, review, and revise)

Steps to Writing a Research Paper

1. Choose a topic (or use the topic assigned by the instructor)

2. Analyze the topic (this is where you read about the topic)

  • Read about the topic until you have the knowledge and understanding to write the paper.
  • Think! What questions do you want/need to answer about the topic?
  • Think! What patterns do you notice in the literature?
  • Think! What are your own reactions and observations? 

3. Develop a thesis statement (short, one or two sentences)

  • Touch on all the points you will make in your paper
  • Explain the significance of your argument
  • Be logically sound
  • Appear at the end (or somewhere within) the introduction portion of your paper
  • Answer who, what, when, where, why, and how about your topic 

4. Make an outline

  • List the points you want to make in your paper
  • Determine a logical method for presenting the points you want to make.  You may use one of these methods or develop your own method.
    • Process
    • Chronology
    • Cause and Effect
    • Classification 

5. Write your paper

Information adapted from Bowen, N. (2010 Summer). How to write great papers. Retrieved from

Find additional help by using these resources


Sample Outline

Writing an outline

Basic Outlining - from the John Jay School of Criminal Justice

Educational Study Guides  - look for the guide on writing research papers